Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sign your donor card: Keep a rapist alive

(This article first appeared at American Thinker.)
While the logic supporting Obamacare rests upon the obvious fact that health care costs are too high for Americans and continue to rise, here's a story to help illustrate the bureaucratic thinking that keeps those costs escalating:
13WHAM News has learned that a convicted rapist serving up to 40 years in prison, is being evaluated for a possible heart transplant.
The report goes on to estimate the cost of the procedure at $800,000. The bill, if the procedure is completed, would be paid by New York state taxpayers.
The felon in question, Kenneth Pike, 55, began serving time in 1996 after his conviction for raping and sodomizing a 13 year-old girl in Auburn, New York. Although the hospital admits having a patient with that name in their care in guarded condition, neither the hospital nor the New York State Department of Corrections would comment further on the matter.
The state's justification for even considering using state funds (not to mention, the use of a coveted healthy heart for transplant) to prolong the life of a violent criminal is the usual mishmash of politically correct speech:
Strong Hospital doctors, nurses and staff members are committed to providing (care) without discrimination. We believe in and follow the organ allocation policies and guidelines of the federally regulated OPTN/United Network for Organ Sharing, which insures equal consideration for transplantation and access to donated organs.
How simultaneously noble and utterly imbecilic of them! But this is not the first time New York State Correction officials have socked the taxpayers to extend the lives of the criminals in their system.
State Correction Officials say four other inmates in past years have received kidney or liver transplants; 7 others had bone marrow transplants.
One can imagine a potential organ donor at the New York state Bureau of Motor Vehicles, pondering whether or not to offer to donate his organs for transplant in the event of his untimely death. Perhaps if they would post mug shots of criminals whose lives have been extended by organ donations, it would make that decision easier for potential donees.

I suppose this is just another way for the unionized corrections department to keep their jobs. Of course we would need fewer correction officers if their charges keep dying off.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't Tread on Trump

While it's not surprising to hear Charles Krauthammer condescend to the idea of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, it comes as something of a surprise to see the National Review featuring Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg and Daniel Foster pouring tubs of cold water on the populist conservative dreams of a Trump presidency. After all, Krauthammer cut his teeth writing speeches for Walter Mondale and has alternately shown ruling class contempt for Sarah Palin while showering Barack Obama with terms like “brilliant” and “elegant” when he isn't ripping the actual policies of our Affirmative Action POTUS.
Et tu, Jonah? Even David Brooks showed more respect for the Trumpster's appeal than the guys who should be rallying around the single conservative figure demonstrating the ability to get traction with the mainstream media while appealing to a wide swath of potential conservative voters.
It's almost like everybody got the memo the same day. Sort of a conserv-o-list of anti-Donaldism.
All three of our normally conservative advocates were dismissive, insulting and condescending to Mr. Trump who has done more to invigorate the Republican party in the last 3 weeks than all three of our favorite columnists put together over the past 12 months.
Where does Jonah Goldberg get off calling Mr. Trump “a clown?” Yes, the Donald is narcissistic and self-promoting and of course he has some baggage. And while he's busy taking cheap shots, Jonah goes on to criticize Trump's expression of his Christian faith. Last time I checked, an honest profession of one's faith was sufficient to satisfy most Christians. Trump asserts that he does what Catholics consider to be their Easter duty-church attendance on Christmas and Easter and “major occasions.” Just to check if Jonah had become some sort of hyper-fundamentalist religious prude, I googled “Jonah Goldberg Obama Church Attendance” and turned up nothing. So why is Jonah tougher on Trump than on Obama?
While lingering in the spirit of unfairness that seems to have overwhelmed Goldberg, he goes on to provide ammunition to the Democrats by quoting a self-serving, sour-grapes, unofficial biography of Trump by a disgruntled former employee. Nice Republican team effort, Jonah.
Daniel Foster seems most discouraged with Trump's crowing about his wealth and success. As Babe Ruth once said, “It ain't bragging if you can back it up.” Then Foster gets all snarky about what sound like logical business tactics, impugning The Donald for his bankruptcy filings and comes off as insecure about “his habit of projecting the appearance of success.” http://www/ Word up, Daniel-it ain't just an appearance. Donald Trump has made several fortunes and seems to have a pretty firm grip on the one he's got. Trump was ranked 420th on the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people with $2.7 billion and a green upward-pointing arrow. An intelligent and resourceful businessman, Trump uses all of the tools and legal avenues available to grow his businesses-a trait that would be quite helpful as POTUS. The bankruptcy laws exist for a reason-to protect individuals and businesses that may have become overwhelmed by circumstances. Trump used those laws wisely and well.
Foster recognizes that Trump “has shrewdly taken stock of the political moment.” He goes on to pick apart some of The Donald's past statements reflecting a potential conflict with conservative voters. But what even the conservative intelligentsia fail to recognize is that voters aren't going to hold a celebrity businessman to positions he held when he might have just been spouting off for the press. Career politicians like Romney (and Romney Care) or Mitch Daniels and his ill-fated truce on social issues had to launch and defend their views and act on them in the political arena. Their past positions are much more securely tethered to them than any of Trump's views ever will be to The Donald.
Mark Steyn's Trump column in “The Corner” seems like more of an afterthought than any of the thoughtful and hilarious pieces regularly turned out by the English-speaking world's most brilliant columnist. Referring to Trump's cowardice is so ridiculous that it's an oxymoron. If one didn't know better from reading Steyn's earlier works, one would believe that Mark believes that the Chinese and the Saudis consider Americans as something of a joke with no ability to influence their behaviors or business policies. I know most Americans won't by that canard and most of us are willing to give Donald Trump the opportunity to test his confrontational theories on those supposed friends of ours in the international community whose practices make them seem more like our enemies.
Donald Trump is a brilliant businessman and a fearless battler in the media arena. He clearly knows how to hire and delegate and will hire the requisite policy wonks to help him navigate the path to the right policy and policy statements to reflect his America First bravado. Our conservative commentariat serves us more effectively when atypical media ruling class attitudes are left out of our favorite columns.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rand Paul Best Choice for Republicans in 2012

This article first appeared at American Thinker on April 5, 2011. As the field for the Republican presidential nomination rounds into form, it is becoming clear that the traditional standard bearers for the GOP aren't bearing up well under Tea Party scrutiny. Dominated by a raft of losing 2008 also-rans, the Republican field must yield candidates likely to live up to the demanding standards of the largest and most successful grass roots movement in the history of the Grand Old Party. The one candidate demonstrating the most consistent adherence to Tea Party principles perfectly described the GOP dilemma in Iowa on Sunday: Its not enough just to be a Republican (Rand Paul told the crowd) Its not enough just for the Republican parties to exist. Political parties are empty vessels unless we imbue them with values. We have to stand for something and we have to mean it. Even Ronald Reagan never put it more clearly or plainly. While ruling class Republicans continue to practice 20th century deferential Republican politics, a few Tea Party favorites consistently stand on principle and, not surprisingly, those candidates are raising funds briskly. It would have been unthinkable in 2008 that Michelle Bachmann would be out-raising Mitt Romney thus far. With Romney's strategy appearing to be to lay low and assume what one of his spokesmen described as a “statesmanlike” position, Mitt is looking more and more like just another pretty face. The Tea Party conservatives who will drive the 2012 Republican nomination are not interested in a low-key, reach-across-the-aisle statesman. Look how well that turned out for us in 2008. The Republican candidates drawing all the love from Tea Partiers are consistently vocal and unafraid of ruffling feathers. Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Rand Paul and even Donald Trump are all verbalizing issues and taking stances that the mainstream media expect to be anathema to a successful Republican candidate. Compare the clear positions of Rand Paul with Mitch Daniels' desire for a truce on social issues or his unwavering support for his far-too-liberal friend Dick Lugar. There is simply no way the Tea Party will settle for ideological compromisers. The rest of the ruling class Republicans will fare no better this election. Mike Huckabee seems to want to be all things to all people, was decidedly soft on crime as Arkansas governor and is rapidly degenerating into the Republican version of Joe Biden. Newt Gingrich is an excellent idea man and was a great Speaker of the House, but these aren't your father's Republican primaries. If Newt thinks he's having a hard time living down his messy divorce, just wait until he has to explain his teaming up with Hillary Clinton in 2005 on her proposed health-care legislation. Can you say toast? Now let's get back to that fund-raising issue. The leading Republican fundraiser thus far in 2011 is Ron Paul. I have never been a fan of the Texas congressman. Despite his solid conservative record, particularly his stance on gun rights, abortion, the Fed, education and fiscal conservatism in general, he has been portrayed in the media as something of an odd-ball. The elder Paul's successful fund raising is no accident, as he is a consistent winner of Republican party straw-polls including victories at the CPAC convention in 2010 and 2011. While Ron Paul will never be a palatable Republican presidential nominee, there is a way to tap into the near rabid support he generates among libertarians and fiscal conservatives. His son, Rand Paul is the logical choice for the 2012 Republican party presidential nomination. He is an absolute budget-cutting hawk, a forceful and uncompromising speaker, and on the Tea Party side of nearly every issue. He is avowedly anti-abortion, demonstrably in favor of major education reforms (including shuttering the Department of Education), and calls for additional security on our border with Mexico and elimination of birth-right citizenship. Rand Paul opposes all gun-control legislation and same-sex marriage. Furthermore, he is decidedly in favor of major reform to the out-of-control Federal Reserve and wants America to eliminate the issuance of visas to citizens of “about ten rogue nations.” What's not to like? It's refreshing to see Senator Paul taking time out from tying Harry Reid in knots with his forceful Senate floor speeches and strategic use of amendments to float his potential candidacy for the 2012 Presidential nomination. This is the one we have been waiting for to replace the one they were hoping for.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is playing in the NFL like Slavery?

This article first appeared at American Thinker on 03/16/2011.
I have to admit I have trouble mustering up any sympathy for striking NFL players. The league minimum wage for players starts at $295,000 annually with the average player collecting about $1 million per year as reported in 2009. Although I am a huge fan, particularly of the local Indianapolis Colts, I have no more sympathy for wealthy athletes than I would have for any other millionaire entrepreneur. I expect them to negotiate their own deals and maintain responsibility for their business assets. For NFL players, the most important asset is their physical plant: their bodies.
Nevertheless, with the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL owners and the NFLPA (the player's union,) we are faced with adversarial negotiations being conducted in the media between these two groups who have a mutual interest in maintaining the remarkable success of the NFL brand.
Until yesterday, I thought the player's union was at a distinct disadvantage, due to the militant belligerence of their chief negotiator, DeMaurice Smith. Formerly the executive director of the NFLPA, Smith orchestrated the decertification of the union in order to allow individual players to file anti-trust suits against the league's owners. According to the owner's negotiator, the union was dead set on decertification and anti-trust suits, regardless of the outcome of the latest talks. From all reports, Smith appears to be cut from the same community organizer cloth as Andy Stern or Barack Obama.
As of yesterday, however, the player's association has acquired a new spokesman. Whether they like or not, the players are going to be stuck with the ridiculous statements of Minnesota running back, Adrian Peterson. In an interview with Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports, Peterson (whose annual base salary is $10.72 million) was quoted:
The players are getting robbed. They are...The owners are making so much money off of us to begin with. I don't know that I want to quote myself on that....
It's modern-day slavery, you know?...The owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. I understand that, these are business-minded people...But as players, we have to stand our ground and say, “Hey, without us, there is no football. “
In addition to the 10's of millions of dollars Peterson earns from his on-field productivity as an NFL running back, he also has lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, Upper Deck, Fat-Head, Vitamin-Water, Muscle Milk and many other commercial sponsors which are certain to at least double his NFL income.
Were can I sign up for some of this slavery action?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2012 Democrat Senate Campaign Slogans

An edited version of this article first appeared at American Thinker on 02/09/2011.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, chaired by Patty Murray of Washington,
needs your help. As John Bresnahan reports at Politico, the current Washington state senator, queen of the whisker-thin, adjudicated victory, is appealing to the public for help developing a new catch-phrase for bumper stickers and additional messaging to assist in the upcoming 2012 campaign cycle. Murray, who was described quite accurately by Ann Coulter as a “lifelong public-sector union zealot” and with perhaps a tad of exaggeration as “the stupidest person in America” acquired her Senate seat after considerable subterfuge. Between getting military absentee votes discounted and the efforts of illegal aliens as campaign canvassers Murray managed to squeak out another victory over beleaguered Republican, Dino Rossi. I'll bet you thought those were only Franken tactics.
Considering the 23 seats the Democrats have to defend, they will need all the help they can get. In the spirit of bi-partisanship, I am happy to reach across the aisle and hand off some scintillating new slogans for Democrat Senatorial candidates that are certain to bring some truth to their union-funded advertising. The ideas offered by the committee so far seem rather bland, including “Had Enough Tea?” and “We've got your back, Barack.” Here are my top ten new campaign slogans for the Democrat Senate candidates in 2012:
1.) Go for Broke with Barry and Biden.
2,) In your heart, you know you want Obamacare.
3.) Amnesty, Si! Border Fence, No!
4.) Don't make us go to a hotel in Illinois!
5.) Senate Democrats, Your union dues at work.
6.) Democrats, making our country safe for Islam.
7.) This wise Latina is voting Democrat.
8.) Don't ask, don't vote Republican.
9.) Democrats, beating our swords into teleprompters.
10.) Six more years of spending!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Farrakhan: Flying Saucers & Scientology

This is the unedited version of an article that first appeared at American Thinker on 03/01/2011.
Just because local Chicago hustlers Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have graduated from the Windy City laboratories and taken their community organizing shell games off to Washington, D.C. doesn't mean that the Chi-town leftists have ceased being like broken washing machines. They are still stuck on agitate. While Jesse Jackson pere has taken his traveling search for the media spotlight to support Wisconsin fleebaggers, JJ fils continues to lay low in an attempt to live down his role in the former Governor Blagojovich's version of Let's Make a Deal. There is one Chicago community agitator who is unafraid to get out in front of the home folks and rouse them to action.
Why just last Sunday, Louis Eugene Walcott, better known by his adopted Muslim name of Farrakhan, rattled off a four hour stem-winder to his devoted followers from the Nation of Islam at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, to celebrate the group's annual Saviours Day convention. The increasingly eccentric Farrakhan attempted to link the rebellions in the middle eastern Arab nations to imagined events developing here in the United States:
What you are looking at in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Yemen, in Jordan, in Libya, in Bahrain, will soon, very soon be in all the nations of the world, and even sooner take place in America
Living in the leftist media bubble here in the states, we have become accustomed to such veiled threats from Nation of Islam leaders. Even as Farrakhan whipped up the enthusiasm of his followers, however, it became clear that the issues motivating Muslim rioters in the Middle East are somewhat removed from the issues important to Chicago Louis. While Libyan and Egyptian protestors seek to escape the dictatorial rule of corrupt despots, Farrakhan is urging American Muslims to pay more attention to flying saucers and Scientology.
To set the media record straight, Farrakhan assured his audience that Moammar Ghadafi had always been a friend. He suggested that leader has been loved by 100 per cent of his people and said that if Ghadafi is (prosecuted) for crimes against humanity, the same should apply to former President George W. Bush for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sounds reasonable enough....if you were perhaps from another planet. Maybe the fact that Farrakhan received Libya's Al-Ghadafi International Prize for Human Rights in 1996 influenced his thinking. But this was only the beginning of Crazy Louis's bizarre riff on the world as he sees it. Did you know that on Planet Farrakhan:
...that white people were created from blacks 4,000 years ago on an Aegean Island by a (mad) black scientist (?)
Or that part of the Nation of Islam belief system is based upon UFOs? Those beliefs are based on Farrakhan's recounting of what might be the only recorded incidence of a black person being abducted,0,1665375.story by a UFO:
Farrakhan has described a 1985 religious experience in which he ascended into a flying saucer and heard the voice of Elijah Muhammad predicting historical events.
Perhaps during Farrakhan's abduction he was introduced to Scientology. Farrakhan was apparently seeking to establish a link between the Nation of Islam and the practitioners of L. Ron Hubbard's celebrity religion when he praised Hubbard for his efforts to “civilize white people” in his Sunday diatribe. Where else might Crazy Louis have made the Scientology connection? One of the fundamental beliefs of the Hubbardians is that
...a human is an immortal alien spiritual being, termed a thetan, that is trapped on planet Earth in a physical body.
So it must have been Farrakhan's close encounter with those enlightened thetans from the UFO that helped him develop the deep spiritual understanding that has helped him become a leader of tens of thousands of followers, most of them here in the United States.
In the eyes of the American mainstream media, the protests in the middle east are about better jobs and freedom. It seems more likely the protests are more about establishing a sharia-compliant system of governance. Mr. Farrakhan's speech suggests our streets may soon be filled with protestors as well. And while I would like to heed Mr. Farrakhan's warning about the impending rebellions anticipated here in America, his rambling speech didn't really make it clear whether it was the UFO's or the Scientologists we have to worry about most.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Polecat of the Senate

This article first appeared at American Thinker on 03/01/2011
Despite concerted resistance from the most politicized Justice Department in the history of our great nation, Judicial Watch was finally successful in getting the full FBI files regarding Teddy Kennedy released:
Our tough fight with the Obama administration shows that it was not keen on letting the American people know that Teddy Kennedy, one of Obama's leftist politician heroes, liked to hang out with communists and prostitutes.
We will continue to investigate why the FBI improperly chose to keep this information secret.
The latest releases, while not pretty, are certainly not surprising to those familiar with the long career of the man the left hailed as “The Lion of Senate.” The facts suggests that the late Senator, well-known as a heavy drinker and the terror of young female campaign workers, was more of a cross between Alger Hiss and Charlie Sheen. The newly released files report that Kennedy arranged to rent an entire Chilean brothel to satisfy his outsized libido, and invited one of the American Embassy's chauffeurs to participate in the festivities. More like the polecat of the Senate, methinks.

It seems Senator Kennedy, in addition to his exaggerated lust for life and fermented liquids, also felt the serious need to pow-wow with the local Communists when visiting foreign countries.
..during a tour of several Latin American countries...In each country he visited he was also said to have insisted on interviewing the “angry young men” of the country as well as Communists who had extreme left-wing views.
The results of those interviews clearly informed the direction of terrible Ted's political arc. Kennedy was said to have veered so far left that he was warned off consorting with some of the targets of his curiously sought interviews. Of course, those same extreme left wing views have come too comprise the platform for the 21st century Democrat party.
It is not surprising that the Kennedy family hagiography is being unraveled, string by string. The Kennedy penchant for amorality and the willingness to use any means to justify the ends of feeding their personal pecadilloes was certain to wilt under the light of historical scrutiny. It is now the family's colluding allies in the press and government who are being exposed and who will eventually be destroyed by the horrendous karma of the Kennedy curse.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Daniels walks back his Homer Simpson moment

This article first appeared at American Thinker on 02/27/2011

After a considerable amount of blowback over Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels cuddly response to the flee-bagging Indiana Democrat legislator's run-and-hide strategy to avoid facing the consequences of their electoral defeat in the 2010 mid-terms, Daniels appeared on Fox News with Neal Cavuto to apologize for misspeaking.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air asks the pertinent question:
Does (Daniel”s) vigorous damage-control over the past few days signal that he's running for president after all?
Make no mistake, Daniels operatives are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to get back out in front of the issue of dismantling the unfair advantages labor unions have garnered over the past several decades due to their symbiotic relationship with the Democrat party. The energy behind the walk-back suggests that Mitch is very serious about running for President.
Unfortunately, that energy can sometimes result in misleading information. Republican political operative Aaron Reber's response to my blog reporting Daniel's inappropriate and inadequate response to the fleebaggers suggests that Daniels was misquoted by “a media source.” That media source was the Indy Star, Indiana's leading newspaper and an enthusiastic endorser of Daniels' candidacy. They have printed no corrections or retractions and there will be none forthcoming because there was no misquote as Daniel's admits on Cavuto. Here is the full audio of Mitch's original statements exactly confirming my original blog.
I like Mitch Daniels as he has been about as good a governor of Indiana as it is possible to be. His solid record doesn't mean that he gets a free pass and can abandon the playing field to the Democrats in a fit of absent-mindedness. The Democrats are fighting us to a stand-off with a shrinking base and control of only about 20% of the voting population. They do have two things going for them that Republicans don't seem to be able to muster: solidarity and ruthlessness. Politicians are liable to make mistakes and Americans are very forgiving of those who will admit their mistakes. It seems like Daniels is heading in the right direction on this, although his Homer Simpson moment might prove to be the undoing of his candidacy. Tea partiers would like to see a bit more resolve in their leaders now to render further Democrat treachery ineffective.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mitch Daniels Caves

This is the unedited version of an article that first appeared at American Thinker on 02/23/2011
Today Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana effectively destroyed his chances for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 when he caved in to the walk-out by Democrats in the Indiana House over a controversial right-to-work bill:

Daniels told reporters this afternoon that he expects House Democrats will return to work if the bill dies. It would be unfortunate if other bills are caught up in the turmoil, he said.

He will not send out state police to corral the Democrats, the Republican governor said.

The Democrat minority has (the) right to express its views, he added.

Daniels is a fiscal hawk who has won national acclaim for the bang-up job he has done steering the Indiana economy out of the mire of the recession compounded by two previous terms of Democrat irresponsibility. The governor gave a controversial speech at the CPAC convention asking Republicans to “call a truce” on social issues while dealing with America's faltering economy.

Word to Mitch: the stifling effect of labor unions on the economy is not a social issue.

Daniels unwillingness to stand on principle on issues important to social conservatives suggested that there might be a weak spot in the former Reagan Budget Director's resume. Daniels earned the sobriquet “Mitch the Knife” for his willingness to stand on economic principle while helping trim the fat out of the federal budget.

Apparently, Daniels now wants to be known as “Mitch the Nice.” That won't work for me or any of the conservatives that I know. Now is the time to draw the proverbial line in the sand and act on the mandate provided conservatives in the 2010 mid-term elections. Reigning in union greed must be a top priority.

I'm sure teachers, federal employees, Indiana Democrats and associated union ilk are searching the thrift stores for “My Man Mitch” buttons that they would previously have spat upon.

Sorry Mitch, but it's only taken two weeks in the national public eye to prove that you ain't no Chris Christie or Scott Walker.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

RINO Watch: Richard Lugar, Carpetbagger

This article first appeared at American Thinker on 02/20/2011
Following in the hallowed tradition of Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel, it appears that Hoosier native Senator Richard Lugar's long tenure in Washington D.C. has helped him morph into a bit of a carpetbagger. Although pettifogger Lugar retains an ownership interest in a 604 acre corn, soybean and tree farm in Marion county Indiana along with his siblings, it appears that Beltway Dick doesn't really live there.
Lugar senior spokesman Mark Helmke acknowledged that the Senator stays at a hotel on his occasional return visits to Indiana. Helmke claimed that Lugar works the farm with his son once a month, “even though he doesn't live there.”
This wouldn't be the first time Lugar used the farm to further his conflicting political interests. Although elected by the people to serve as a Republican in a state with significant dependence on coal for energy, Lugar became the first farmer in Indiana to sign up with the Chicago Climate Exchange back in 2006. The establishment of the Exchange was planned to play a central role in Obama's $650 billion cap-and trade scam. Fortunately, the implosion of the global warming canard torpedoed that nonsensical initiative.
As a member of the CCE:
Lugar became what the exchange called an offset producer, entitling him to a financial reward in return for keeping his part of the property untouched. Lugar who was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time, not only participated in the Climate Exchange program. He also endorsed it in promotional advertising.
Although Lugar never cashed in the stack of off-set certificates he received,
The Climate Exchange ...profited from its association with Lugar, one of the Senate's most influential voices on foreign policy and a highly respected elder statesman...the exchange (used) Lugar's participation to promote itself to farmers and the public, in the form of a ringing endorsement from the Senator that the exchange displays in its marketing tools.
Of course the other featured endorsement in the exchange's promotional materials is from Lugar acolyte, Barack Obama. Senator Lugar also shares our wobbly President's views on strategic arms limitations and who knows what else and has served as a bit of a mentor for our very liberal POTUS.
Like many another bad liberal idea, the Chicago Climate Exchange collapsed under the weight of its own absurdity and closed in November of 2010. Unlike macrame plant hangers, earth shoes and Al Gore, however, Richard Lugar's tenure in the United States Senate continues to defy common sense and just keeps chugging along.
For now.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Desperate Wisconsin Brotherhood

The Democrat state senators of Wisconsin who skipped out on the Senate session to obviate the possibly of a vote disenfranchising their union pals are engaging in what used to be called an Italian strike. Otherwise known as “work-to-rule” these are actions: which employees do no more than the minimum required by the rules of a workplace, and follow safety or other regulations to the letter in order to cause a slowdown rather than to serve their purpose...In some is known as an Italian strike as it is believed it was first used in Italy in 1904.
Larry Kudlow rightly describes the actions of the state representatives, in collusion with their union paymasters, as an anti-democratic disgrace. The Milwaukee teacher's union has joined the fray, staging wildcat solidarity strikes with over 1100 teachers calling in sick causing the schools to shut down. Kudlow astutely recognizes the opportunity for proponents of smaller government:
(The teachers) ought to be fired. Think Reagan PATCO in 1981. Think Calvin Coolidge police strike in 1919.
Union members are fighting mad. The enormous booty accumulated by the enforced collection of their dues was squandered in support of losing Democrats nearly nationwide. Usually, when these thugs seek to fix an election, it gets fixed and it stays fixed. This time it appears that the gig is up. The cost of benefit packages for union employees have continued to skyrocket primarily because the expense of benefit packages is easier for Democrats to hide from the public than straight up wage increases. Governor Walker's bill, and another like it in Ohio, seek to require union members to pony up a fairer share of the cost of their benefits. Only this time, Walker recognizes that those cost reductions will be rolled back by future collective bargaining arrangements, unless the right to collective bargaining is disabled for government workers.
We can hear the union pigs stuck under Governor Walker's fence squealing all the way down here in Indiana. But it's not just Governor Walker of Wisconsin calling for the end of the arrogant unionists joy ride at the expense of the rest of us. The 2010 mid-term election results foretold just such a day of reckoning for the privileged unionists.
Patrick McIlheran at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel understands these thugs:
Union activists in Madison Tuesday spoke apocalyptically of “class war,” hinting wildly at general strikes and takeovers of the capitol. They correctly see their control of the state slipping and must figure that if they bring 13,000 shouting people to Madison, they can overrule the election.
Like their champion B.O. in the White House, the unions have no respect for the law. Money and muscle are the order of the day and neither B.O. nor his union collaborationists will spare any expense or any show of manpower to circumvent the laws of our great nation in order to continue redistributing the wealth of the taxpayers into the pockets and bank accounts of trade unions and their partners in the disgraced, amoral, and increasingly desperate Democrat party.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Opportunity is missed by most people because its dressed in overalls and it looks like work.

Thomas Edison

Monday, February 14, 2011

Obama Agonistes: A view from across the pond

This article was first published at American Thinker on 02/13/2011
In order to get intellectual clarity, it is sometimes required that we step outside of our homegrown comfort zone and examine the thoughts of pundits who are somewhat more disinterested. While the typical scrum of Fleet Streetists and liberal moaners from the politically correct U.K. tabloids are no more inspiring than Maureen Dowd in high dudgeon, the musings of clear thinkers like James Delingpole and particularly Gerald Warner can be especially illuminating. Warner's latest riff at Scotland on Sunday on Obama's clodhopper handling of the uprising in Egypt provides some remarkably clear thinking.
Warner recognizes facts that American journalists seem unwilling to admit.
The fact that Egypt, for instance, simply isn't ready for democratic elections:
Does anybody in Washington recognize what the establishment of democratic governments in the Middle East would mean? War with Israel, because that is the settled will of the Arab street. Apparently western liberals want more democratic elections like the one that gifted Gaza to Hamas in 2006.
Wishing that this weren't so doesn't make it any less true. How can any proponent of the best possible world order not see Mubarak as the lesser of two evils when compared with the murderous Muslim Brotherhood? For the path surely seems to be clear for the MB or their ally to fill the power vacuum developing in Egypt.
Warner further points out the folly of enabling an “orderly transition” under Mohamed ElBaradei, who is clearly nothing more than an Iranian stooge. Proponents of Tehran Mo point to his status as a Nobel Laureate.
Well so is the buffoon in the Oval Office, having been awarded his prize by the celebrity-stalking Nobel committee at the start of his administration, on the reasoned assumption it would be more difficult to cobble together a plausible citation at the end of it.
One would be hard put to find a better unmasking of the Muslim Brotherhood than Warner's. The fact that the MB controls nearly every major Muslim organization in the United States and has a well-funded campaign in place to “cultivate respectability on American campuses and in U.S. government circles” doesn't make their jihadist fundamentalism any more palatable. The Brotherhood is well-entrenched in Egyptian society and appears ready to assume a war footing with Israel even as it plants its p.r. nuggets in the American mainstream media.
The silver lining? Warner recognizes that this latest demonstration of B.O.'s foreign policy ineptitude should be the last nail in his re-election coffin. Out Cartering Carter, Obama now seems likely to elicit a “Who Lost Egypt?” reaction that should dwarf the “Who Lost China?” outcry that ushered Eisenhower and the Republicans into office in 1952.
If by 2012 the Middle East were in Islamist hands, the U.S. electorate would annihilate Obama, however inadequate the Republican candidate: in that scenario, Bugs Bunny could carry 50 states: what you are seeing is the meltdown of the Obama presidency.
Read the whole article here. Not a minced word anywhere.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bannering: Obama's latest gift to the unions

This article first appeared at American Thinker on 02/05/2011

With public opinion increasingly critical of overpaid and under-performing labor unions, one might expect that union members and their representatives would be keeping a low profile while mounting a public relations campaign to repair their well-earned and sullied reputations. Not this bunch. In the face of an onslaught of public criticism of their excessive pay and absurdly generous health and retirement benefits coupled with a call for increased accountability and an end to tenure, public union members are actually becoming more strident and militant in their determination to demand what they seem to think is their entitlement.
Fresh on the heels of the National Labor Relations Board's ruling confirming the right of unions to engage in “bannering,”a Michigan carpenter's union is vigorously pursuing the practice. It's time for a court review of this practice and these belligerent unionists are providing the perfect case to pursue.
Ken Braun at the Michigan Capitol Confidential
provides a detailed report on the brouhaha. It seems that the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters isn't happy negotiating solely for members of it's union. The union is now resorting to a form of extortion to influence the actions of companies who don't use their members.
The targeted company, Ritsema Associates, is a construction contractor located near Grand Rapids. Back in July, the MRCC sent a letter to Ritsema claiming that they had investigated the company and determined that they were paying sub-standard wage and benefits. Mind you, this is not a government agency performing its due diligence: the is a rival organization with interests competing with those of Ritsema. No evidence was provided in the letter suggesting how this investigation was conducted. Ritsema was informed that if they did not provide their private payroll information to the MRCC, they would be considered to be paying substandard wages.
Of course, Ritsema refused to provide their private company information. Two weeks later a dozen of it's customers received a “Notice of Labor Dispute” stating that:
The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters has a labor dispute with Ritsema & Associates, who does not meet area labor standards-they do not pay the standard wages to all their employees, including paying for health benefits and pension.
We want you to be aware that our new and aggressive pubic information campaign against this company will unfortunately impact all parties associated with projects where they are employed. The campaign will include highly visible lawful banner displays and distribution of handbills at the job site and premises of property owners, developers, general contractors and any other firms involved with projects involving a non area standard contractor.
Tony Soprano couldn't have said it any better.
The bannering went into effect almost immediately with the “banner lines” being manned by hired guns paid by the cash-flush union. The union hired guns were also handing out flyers from the MRCC featuring a rat chewing on an American flag. The flyer encourages phone calls to the company who had contracted Ritsema to complain about the work being done on their property.
This practiced of bannnering is nothing more than an attempt by the NLRB to achieve the same result as the discredited “card-check” legislation that the Democrats were unable to cram down our throats while they maintained an overwhelming majority in Congress. Make no mistake, Obama has pursued the aims of labor unions through the executive branch, just as he attempted to go around the Congress with the EPA 's backdoor cap-and-trade. When B.O. was unable to get his union man, Craig Becker, approved through the Senate nominating process, he went ahead and stacked the NLRB with Becker via recess appointment along with another union shill, Mark Pearce. This was on the advice of Richard Trumka.
The NLRB's approval of bannering appears to have Becker & Pearce's fingerprints all over it. Doesn't Congress have oversight of the NLRB? It's time for an investigation of this reprehensible practice. While the Obama administration continues to pander to their bag men in the labor unions, Ritsema Associates is in danger of losing its contract with some clients who were clearly intimidated the flagrant aggression of the MRCC. And that, of course, will lead to fewer jobs for Ritsema employees. Shall we count these as jobs uncreated or jobs unsaved?

Fed Utility Bills: Your Government at Work

This article first appeared at American Thinker on 1/16/2011

One can understand the fact that federal bureaucrats earning an average of 33% more than their counterparts in the productive sectors of the economy might have America's fiscal panties in a wad. A report from WUSA Channel 9 in Washington, D.C. helps us consider the expense of warehousing these parasitic mopes for the 30 years or so it takes them to start getting paid lavishly to stay at home.
Reporter Andrea McCarren kept track of the lights left on late at night at a number of our federal agency buildings including the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor. She coupled her observations with a Freedom of Information Act request for copies of the utility bills for the agencies who seemed most noticeably to be practicing the Motel Six version of federal resource husbandry (“We'll leave the lights on for ya.”)
The results were shocking even to this jaded observer of bureaucratic incompetence:
..One month's electricity bill at the Department of Labor topped a MILLION dollars. That was a bill paid in July of last year. The month before, the Department paid a bill of nearly $700,000....The Department of Health and Human Services paid a bill last August of $799,000 for a month of service...The Department of Commerce paid a bill last June of $794,000.
Of course I understand that Kathleen Sebelius needs a support staff burning the midnight oil in order to discover and communicate to the hoi polloi the proper way to sneeze. But why do we need to spend a million dollars a month to illuminate the Department of Labor when we could eliminate the whole agency and replace it with the simple installation of a revolving door at the White House to facilitate the regular visits of Andy Stern and his cronies?
The first wave of Tea Party congressmen seems intent on slashing spending. Perhaps they will seriously consider the cuts suggested by freshman Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky:
..Paul would abolish the Departments of Education, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development. Completely zeroing out federal housing spending...
The Affordable Housing Program, the Commission on Fine Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State Justice Institute, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are all eliminated. The Smithsonian is privatized.
Sounds like a good start.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

True love and prayer are learned in the moment when prayer has become impossible and the heart has turned to stone. Thomas Merton

Thursday, February 3, 2011

In Official English Please

It looks like the wave of Republican take-overs in the nation's statehouses is gearing up for action. Both Indiana and Minnesota legislators are pushing English-Only bills to require that all official state business be conducted in English. Elizabeth Llorente at Fox News Latino reports that the Indiana House already passed their bill with overwhelming support, 63 to 26: it heads shortly to the state Senate. Minnesota's bill should reach a vote in their state senate once the powerful winter storm blanketing the area dies down.
A tremendous amount of momentum carrying issues important to the Tea Party has been bottled up since the powerful electoral message of conservatives was delivered at the 2010 mid-term elections. Republicans took over 19 state chambers formerly held by Democrats and control the battle for statehouse legislatures 55 to 38. Expect local reform to be enacted much more quickly than in the national legislative bodies. State representatives are much closer to the grass-roots and seem to be energized and fired up for the challenge of taking America back.
The English-Only bills represent the leading edge of the conservative reform movement. According to the director of U.S. English, a Washington, D.C. Lobbying group:
With the result of the last election, at state and federal levels, we have the best climate for passing (Official English) legislation that we've had in the last 15 years.
Mike Delph, our local state senator from Carmel, says that supporters of Official English:
...are tired of pressing “1” for English when calling businesses, or hearing Spanish announcements over the Wal-Mart intercom, or struggling to understand a worker in the McDonald's drive-thru.
Delph is considered one of the Tea-Party's favorite sons and is contemplating a primary challenge to Richard Lugar for the U.S. Senate. Delph is also championing an Arizona-style immigration law among many other conservative proposals to help correct the leftward drift of American society toward political correctness and multiculturalism and away from traditional American values.
Critics of the Official English bill have been ineffectual, making the usual charges of mean-spiritedness and discrimination. Republicans counter that the state's website shouldn't provide information in Spanish and that our public universities shouldn't even print applications for foreign students at taxpayer expense. With the conservatives prevailing and a bit of expeditious enforcement, at least going forward we can assure that our critics will have to conduct their excoriations in the king's English.